CD East’s Romeo Harvey makes weight, stuns No. 2 seed in Trojan Wars

CD East’s heavyweight Romeo Harvey didn’t know if he would take the mat Friday at the MyHOUSE Trojan Wars.

The uncertainty started at the beginning of the season. He checked in at 305 pounds and spent hours working off the weight in preparation for his first scheduled event at Chambersburg High School.

Then Friday morning finally came, and he got on the scale and pushed 288. That meant another run before his scheduled weigh-in and sweating bullets, as he checked in at 285.9 pounds.

That seemed like the hardest part of the day. Once Harvey hit the mat, the unseeded ace took care of business, knocking out the No. 2 seed Damon James, of Boiling Springs, in his first match of the season and another competitor in the Round of 16 to punch his ticket to the Trojan Wars quarterfinal round.

“I had all the confidence in the world with my coaches, my family, and God behind me,” Harvey said. “The coaches kept pushing me and pushing me, getting me ready to compete in this moment.”

Harvey labored a bit in both matches, but that’s to be expected when you aren’t on the mat the first three weeks of the season. Still, it didn’t alter the outcome.

James struggled with Harvey, and the Panthers senior squeezed into the Round of 16 with a 5-4 decision. Things were even more difficult against Milton’s Nevin Rauch, who tied the score late and was looking for back points.

But Harvey kept fighting. That paid off in the last 20 seconds of the match, when he slipped out and executed a reversal to take the 8-6 decision.

“It was tough,” Harvey said of his first match. “It was my first match, but it’s not my first year [wrestling]. I had to keep pushing.

“I knew I could get that reversal. I knew what I needed to do, and he tried to get those back points, and I got the reversal. We practice to be patient and be ready to score the next point.”

Beating a top seed like James can open up the bracket. Harvey kept going with a win over Rauch and now faces Unionville’s Elijah Lyons in Saturday’s quarterfinal round, which begins at 10 a.m.

“This is good momentum and confidence,” Harvey said. “I know what I can do and that I can wrestle for the championship.”

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